Part 2 of my series examining research evidence for the value of video games. This time: the potential of video games to improve spatial cognition.... Read more »
Today is our last paper on high throughput screening (HTS) techniques. We’re back to discovering drugs on this one but the premise is quite different for this particular screen. Whereas other papers we’ve done so far have involved finding novel … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bachovchin, D., Brown, S., Rosen, H., & Cravatt, B. (2009) Identification of selective inhibitors of uncharacterized enzymes by high-throughput screening with fluorescent activity-based probes. Nature biotechnology, 27(4), 387-394. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1531
The other day a friend of mine bumped into some news that concerned her. She could have asked a random person about this to find out more information, but there was a bit of information that came with the news indicating that I might know more than the average person about it. So, she asked me, and as it turns out, I did not know anything. But, having heard the news from her, I noticed a different bit of information that came along with it that told me exactly who would know everything about i........ Read more »
Since the early days of paleontology, the posture of dinosaurs and the range of motion they were capable of have been contentious subjects for paleontologists. During the 19th century, especially, the general view of what dinosaurs would have looked like changed no less than three times, and investigations into how these animals moved continue to [...]... Read more »
Mallison, H. (2010) CAD assessment of the posture and range of motion of Kentrosaurus aethiopicus Hennig 1915. Swiss Journal of Geosciences. DOI: 10.1007/s00015-010-0024-2
First, there was plain and simple creationism, a Christian idea that, in an ideal Christian world, would be taught as part of any science dealing with the past, including biology (evolution), geology, and presumably history.
But the constitution stood in the way of implementing basic Christian teachings in public schools in the United States, though that battle took decades. Just as creationists were being driven off he landscape, a sort of Battle of the Bulge occurred, in the form of Intellig........ Read more »
Rosenau, Joshua. (2010) Leap of Faith: Intelligent Design's Trajectory after Dover. UNIV. OF ST. THOMAS JOURNAL OF LAW . info:/
Despite all the overhyped nonsense which surrounded the debut of the 47-million-year-old primate Darwinius masillae (“Ida” to her fans) last year, I have to admit that the first-described specimen was a gorgeous fossil. It was a paleontologist’s dream – a complete, articulated skeleton with traces of hair and even intact gut contents. Never before had [...]... Read more »
Gregory, W.K. (1920) On the structure and relations of Notharctus, an American Eocene primate. Memoirs of the AMNH, 3(2), 49-243. info:/
We have just stumbled across a paper that is very intriguing if you are not up with this tricky little evolutionary twist. Tim Bruckner and colleagues at University of California Irvine and Berkeley, have reported that the odds of a male fetus dying – called the ‘fetal death sex ratio’ – were increased above the [...]... Read more »
Bruckner, T., Catalano, R., & Ahern, J. (2010) Male fetal loss in the U.S. following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. BMC Public Health, 10(1), 273. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-273
Catalano R, Bruckner T, Gould J, Eskenazi B, & Anderson E. (2005) Sex ratios in California following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Human reproduction (Oxford, England), 20(5), 1221-7. PMID: 15734763
Catalano R, Bruckner T, Marks AR, & Eskenazi B. (2006) Exogenous shocks to the human sex ratio: the case of September 11, 2001 in New York City. Human reproduction (Oxford, England), 21(12), 3127-31. PMID: 16936298
Whilst endeavouring to keep updated with my research topics I came across the following study on leaving intentions by Simon et al (2010).
The authors have identified three dimensions which they suggest illustrate the different aspects which contribute to Turnover in previous definitions: Voluntariness (collaborative relationship with organisation), Controllability (who has actual control over turnover), and [...]... Read more »
Simon, M., Müller, B., & Hasselhorn, H. (2010) Leaving the organization or the profession - a multilevel analysis of nurses’ intentions. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(3), 616-626. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05204.x
A report of the use of the OMX microscope in high-speed live-cell imaging just came out in PNAS (Carlton et al. 2010 Fast live simultaneous multiwavelength four-dimensional optical microscopy. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA 107 16016-16022 PMID: 20705899). In an accompanying commentary, Jason Swedlow offers the opinion that the field of live cell imaging will [...]... Read more »
Carlton PM, Boulanger J, Kervrann C, Sibarita JB, Salamero J, Gordon-Messer S, Bressan D, Haber JE, Haase S, Shao L.... (2010) Inaugural Article: Fast live simultaneous multiwavelength four-dimensional optical microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20705899
Natural selection happens. It was hypothesized in copious detail by Charles Darwin, and has been confirmed in the laboratory, through observation, and also by inference via the methods of modern genomics. But science is more than broad brushes. We need to drill-down to a more fine-grained level to understand the dynamics with precision and detail, [...]... Read more »
Burke, Molly K., Dunham, Joseph P., Shahrestani, Parvin, Thornton, Kevin R., Rose, Michael R., & Long, Anthony D. (2010) Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature09352
The lac operon is such a useful learning tool in cell and molecular biology that I would be greatly surprised to find a respectable biology department that doesn't cover it in at least two courses. That being said, we have by no means exhausted this model system of all it has to offer the science community, as demonstrated by Reddy et al. (2008) This letter to Nature, from a couple years ago, not only served to uniquely implement our mastery of the lac operon, but also to illustrate a prim........ Read more »
Reddy, K., Zullo, J., Bertolino, E., & Singh, H. (2008) Transcriptional repression mediated by repositioning of genes to the nuclear lamina. Nature, 452(7184), 243-247. DOI: 10.1038/nature06727
Cohort differences in personality in middle-aged women during a 36-year period. Results from the Population Study of Women in Gothenburg From Scandinavian Journal of Public Health This research measures differences in personality in middle-aged Swedish women during a 36-year period. Society has undergone major changes in recent decades, many of which have had a pronounced [...]... Read more »
Andre, M., Lissner, L., Bengtsson, C., Hallstrom, T., Sundh, V., & Bjorkelund, C. (2010) Cohort differences in personality in middle-aged women during a 36-year period. Results from the Population Study of Women in Gothenburg. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 38(5), 457-464. DOI: 10.1177/1403494810371247
A doubleshot of reviews**: Fein, Ofer, & Kasher, Asa (1996). How to do things with words and gestures in comics Journal of Pragmatics, 26 (6), 793-808 DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(96)00023-9This study looked at the role of gestures in comics (specifically, those in the European comic Asterix). The study had people interpret the meanings of both panels from the comics, and of photos where people took ... Read more »
Fein, Ofer, & Kasher, Asa. (1996) How to do things with words and gestures in comics. Journal of Pragmatics, 26(6), 793-808. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(96)00023-9
As the Pope arrives in the UK, a provocative new study claims that religious practice changes people's attentional mindset (how much they're focused on detail vs. the big picture), not just while they're still a believer but even for years after becoming an atheist. What's more, it's shown that different religions can tune the mind in contrasting ways, potentially hindering communication and understanding between different religious groups.
Lorenza Colzato at the Leiden Institute for Brain and ........ Read more »
Antioxidant compounds can extend life in mice provided they are localized to the mitochondria - which doesn't happen for anything you can presently buy in a bottle. Near all antioxidants that can be ingested, injected, or otherwise introduced into the body do nothing of any great significance to healthy life span, and may even be detrimental by interfering in the processes of hormesis that help to maintain and improve health. As I'm sure you know by now, mitochondria are the cell's powerplants, ........ Read more »
Galley HF. (2010) Bench-to-bedside review: Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria in sepsis. Critical care (London, England), 14(4), 230. PMID: 20804578
Demianenko IA, Vasilieva TV, Domnina LV, Dugina VB, Egorov MV, Ivanova OY, Ilinskaya OP, Pletjushkina OY, Popova EN, Sakharov IY.... (2010) Novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, "Skulachev-ion" derivatives, accelerate dermal wound healing in animals. Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 75(3), 274-80. PMID: 20370605
Sometimes you have to think small to think big. Focusing tiger conservation efforts on just 6% of the big cats’ remaining range could pull the species back from the brink of extinction, according to a new analysis by a group of leading tiger experts. They are urging global leaders to adopt the “6% solution” at […] Read More »... Read more »
Walston, J., Robinson, J., Bennett, E., Breitenmoser, U., da Fonseca, G., Goodrich, J., Gumal, M., Hunter, L., Johnson, A., Karanth, K.... (2010) Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink—The Six Percent Solution. PLoS Biology, 8(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000485
Autism is probably one of the best known neurological disorders, in part due to promotion in Hollywood movies such as Rain Man. It is described in the On-line Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database as being
“characterized by a triad of limited or absent verbal communication, a lack of reciprocal social interaction or responsiveness, and restricted, [...]... Read more »
Fradin, D., Cheslack-Postava, K., Ladd-Acosta, C., Newschaffer, C., Chakravarti, A., Arking, D., Feinberg, A., & Fallin, M. (2010) Parent-Of-Origin Effects in Autism Identified through Genome-Wide Linkage Analysis of 16,000 SNPs. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012513
Pharmaceuticals and sexual performance.
The search for aphrodisiacs is an ancient, if not always venerable, human pursuit. Named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, aphrodisiacs are compounds that have the reputation, real or imagined, of increasing sexual desire, pleasure, and potency. It’s safe to say that rhinoceros horn or tiger penis—various forms of sympathetic magic—just don’t reliably do the trick.
Writing in Hormones and Behavior, a group of Canadian behavioral neurobiol........ Read more »
Pfaus, J., Wilkins, M., DiPietro, N., Benibgui, M., Toledano, R., Rowe, A., & Couch, M. (2010) Inhibitory and disinhibitory effects of psychomotor stimulants and depressants on the sexual behavior of male and female rats. Hormones and Behavior, 58(1), 163-176. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.10.004
Your friends likely have more friends than you do. Please don't take that personally. As the sociologist Scott L. Feld was first to point out, this is simply a mathematical fact about human ties. (Satoshi Kanazawa nicely explains it here.) This "friendship paradox" may have medical uses: According to the network theorists Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, it can made into a tool that will track and predict disease outbreaks much earlier than do current methods.
In study publ........ Read more »
Explains Ecker et al. (2010)'s statistical analysis of the geometry of MRI-derived computer models of 20 autistic men's brains, compared with normal and abnormal (ADHD) controls... Read more »
Ecker C, Marquand A, Mourão-Miranda J, Johnston P, Daly EM, Brammer MJ, Maltezos S, Murphy CM, Robertson D, Williams SC.... (2010) Describing the brain in autism in five dimensions--magnetic resonance imaging-assisted diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder using a multiparameter classification approach. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(32), 10612-23. PMID: 20702694
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